During the first few months of Target Field’s existence, gaining admission felt somewhat like finding the golden ticket in a Wonka Bar. Every game was sold out, so procuring tickets was a matter of second-hand perusing. In late-May of 2010, I had garnered a seat—against the hated Yankees, no less!. As I sat down to watch the start of the series on TV, I knew I’d be watching from the upper deck behind home plate the next night (May 26). Within a few hours, a series of events transpired that gave me even more than I bargained for...
On that night of the 25th, Scott Baker & A.J. Burnett matched empty frames for five innings in what looked to be a classic pitcher’s duel. The contest even featured the debut of the Rally Squirrel, believe it or not:
But then the rains came, and it was clear there would be no stopping the deluge for hours. Initially, I was pretty bummed—I wanted to see how this would turn out. But after a delay of about an hour and a half, the teams agreed on a rather odd scheduling compromise: due to the fact that the Yankees would not be stopping in MN again for the rest of the season, the resumption of the action would take place the next day. Odder still (and I believe due to further midday rain on the 26th), the rest of the action would not be part of a doubleheader, but instead precede the next night’s scheduled contest. Only ticket-holders for the 26th (not the 25th) would be able to see the final frames.
After a second to let all that sink in, I realized: “hey...that’s me!”. While I had initially planned on nine innings of in-person baseball, I would now be on the receiving end of at least 13!
So, that next day, I jumped on the NorthStar train (my usual ballpark route in those days) and got to my seat for the top of the sixth inning—a strange scenario to say the least. In typical Twins/Yankees fashion, Derek Jeter hit the fourth pitch of newly-inserted Brian Duensing into the bullpens, and the Yankee relief triplet of David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera made the 1-0 margin final.
After a (very) brief respite, from what I remember, the regularly-scheduled contest began.
Again, this was a tight, close-to-the-vest affair. Notorious Twins-killer Andy Pettitte lived up the billing, allowing just two runs (hits from Joe Mauer & Delmon Young) through eight innings. But home starter Francisco Liriano (7 IP, 2 ER) matched him southpaw offering for southpaw offering.
Sadly, as so often happened (happens?) in tilts with the Bombers, they rallied late. In the top of the ninth, Nick Swisher hit a two-out bomb to the concourse in right field off Jon Rauch, and then Mo induced three weak groundouts from Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, & Young to lock it down for the Pinstripes.
Looking back, it would be easy to do so with indignity. Two losses to the Yanks in a single day? To quote the late Chris Farley: “Good...great...grand...wonderful”. But during those feeling-out days of Target Field’s early existence, even losses to the Yankees seemed as much thrilling as depressing.
To my knowledge, this is the only time in Twins history a paying customer for a game was not allowed to see its conclusion without a ticket for the next affair—and I was the beneficiary!